Electronic medical records probed for over-billing

By Fred Schulte

Are feds doing all they can to ferret out waste from move to electronic records?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… be prompting some doctors and hospitals to improperly bill higher fees to Medicare. An investigation into those billing questions — which convened a hearin …"

"… al professionals have steadily billed higher rates for treating seniors on Medicare over the last decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The inv …"

"… adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The investigation suggested that Medicare billing errors and abuses are worsening as doctors and hospitals switch to …"

"… re than $10 billion has been spent. Just over half the doctors now billing Medicare are using digital records. But critics of the initiative have claimed for …"

IMPACT: Administration official asks for Medicare billing review

By Fred Schulte

Administration official wants to know if electronic health records are causing Medicare over-billing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… tronic health records are prompting some doctors and hospitals to overbill Medicare.Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the Obama administration’s National Coordinator f …"

"… al professionals have steadily billed higher rates for treating seniors on Medicare over the last decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees.The Cent …"

"… Center’s year-long investigation, published in September, suggested that Medicare billing errors and abuses are worsening as doctors and hospitals switch to …"

"… re than $10 billion has been spent. Just over half the doctors now billing Medicare are using digital records.In his interview with the Center, Mostashari str …"

Gingrich's health center was power player in a host of Washington policy debates

By Fred Schulte and Joe Eaton

Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation was power player on host of issues

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… l Senate Office Building press conference to promote a bill requiring that Medicare accept prescriptions electronically — a bill in which at least 20 center …"

"… aches to treating Alzheimer’s disease to support for legislation pushing Medicare funding for drug packaging that helps elderly people remember to take thei …"

"… ation Therapy Management Expanded Benefits Act of 2010.” The bill sought Medicare payments for new packaging of medicines, a specialty of the Richmond, Va., …"

"… would help his company win support from state governments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Congress.“In order to get that audience you ha …"

Panel recommends new agency to investigate safety of health information technology

By Kimberly Leonard

Institute of Medicine panel recommends new regulatory body, not FDA

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… cies — including the Office of the National Coordinator, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality …"

As states build exchanges, questions linger about interoperability

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Lingering questions about interoperability of state health information exchanges

Stimulus funds will build state health exchanges but might not sustain them

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Federal stimulus money will build exchanges, but may not be enough to sustain them

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ealth care. Most of the attention has been focused on $27 billion worth of Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments that are going out to doctors, hospitals a …"

Health information technology: Keep it simple

By Kimberly Leonard

Reports say systems must be understandable to avoid dangerous medical errors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… read use of electronic health records. The government will begin deducting Medicare payments from providers if they do not go digital by 2015.However, the mon …"

Health information technology: Incentives may not always serve intended purpose

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Some payments may be going to doctors who have been using electronic health records for years

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… als were included in the first batch to receive incentive payments through Medicare — payments that totaled $75 million. Those payments began during the two …"

"… two weeks following the launch of the program April 18 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The details of the initial batch were relea …"

"… ive software update.The incentive program, to be administered through both Medicare and Medicaid, is part of President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus …"

"… CMS spokesman said the agency has distributed nearly $400 million in both Medicare and Medicaid payments, and that by the end of the summer, that figure migh …"

Podiatrists have their foot in the door

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Podiatrists are taking advantage of payments for installing electronic health records

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… providers,” Christina said. In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a list of the first 320 recipients of “meaningfu …"

Only 15 of top 100 health information technology firms are lobbying on health IT

By Josh Israel

Many of the top health information technnology firms don't lobby on health IT

Just 16 of top health IT firms maintain corporate PACs

By Josh Israel

Many of the major players in health information technology do not sponsor corporate political action committees

Privacy advocates want stricter rules for online, patient-controlled health records

By Kimberly Leonard

Privacy groups say clearer rules are needed for online, patient-controlled health records, but an HHS study of the issue is 18 months late

Excluded groups want in on health information technology funding

By Kimberly Leonard

Economic stimulus package has $27 billion for health IT; excluded providers are fighting for a slice

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… legislation in 2009. The idea was to allot stimulus funds to Medicare and Medicaid, which would then distribute the money to providers who demonstrated they …"

"… amend HITECH to qualify health centers for incentive payments paid through Medicaid.The Congressional Budget Office has not scored the bills, nor has the Obam …"

"… targeted members of Congress recommending that HITECH be amended to extend Medicaid incentives to physician assistants if at least 30 percent of their patient …"

"… es to physician assistants if at least 30 percent of their patients are on Medicaid.“The current HITECH limitation on Medicaid [electronic health records] l …"

Insurance brokers seek health reform change to safeguard profits

By Josh Israel

Insurance brokers seek change in health reform provision to protect profits

Proposed bill aims to expand health IT funds to mental health providers

By Kimberly Leonard and Josh Israel

Stimulus bill left many providers out, but costs of including them may doom the measure....

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… dvance the use of electronic health records, and sets aside $27 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments for health providers that show they have installed t …"

"… nnot pass on its own, lawmakers will likely try to lump it in with another Medicare provision at the end of the year, said Guida, the behavioral health lobbyi …"

GOP deficit-cutters eye health IT stimulus funds as Obama’s point man leaves

By Kimberly Leonard

Billions of unspent stimulus dollars slated for electronic health records are now a target for lawmakers searching the federal budget for cu

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… Act, part of the 2009 federal stimulus law, which allotted $27 billion in Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments to doctors, hospitals and other health car …"

"… ing to cut out is something that was done in the past but not yet spent.”Medicaid payments underway, Medicare starts in MayThe unspent money to encourage ad …"

"… tive plan, which runs for five years, said providers could begin receiving Medicaid payments in January 2011 once they demonstrated that guidelines for use of …"

"… than a trickle.A January tally of payments by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that $20.4 million has been spent, said a CMS press o …"

Will digital technology reduce gap in health between rich and poor?

By Emma Schwartz

Two years ago, the Ethio American Health Center opened its doors in the nation’s capital, promising the country’s largest community of Ethio

Push for safety oversight of electronic medical records is moving at a crawl

By Emma Schwartz

Nearly two years after the Obama administration announced plans to spend $40 billion to help doctors and hospitals adopt electronic medical

FDA, Obama digital medical records team at odds over safety oversight

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Previously undisclosed hospital mixup underscores challenges on road to reform

Amid digital records surge, a lack of policing by the FDA

By Emma Schwartz and Fred Schulte

Government offers incentives to buy electronic devices it doesn't track for safety

As doctors shift to electronic health systems, signs of harm emerge

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Reports link system malfunctions to injuries, deaths

Effort to track medical safety issues faces long road ahead

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Panel seeks centralized data on hazards related to digital systems

FDA asks hospitals to report safety glitches in digital health systems

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

In letter to 350 health centers, agency signals growing concern

Stimulus to push electronic health records could widen 'digital divide'

By Fred Schulte

Federal plan may leave behind small hospitals and rural doctors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… doctors and hospitals that fail to go paperless by 2016 face cuts in their Medicare payments as a penalty.Officials at the federal Office of National Coordina …"

"… m has often been cited by President Obama as a model.Officials who run the Medicare program and have the final say over the meaningful use regulations, declin …"

"… il responses to questions posed by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Medicare official Tony Trenkle said the agency “could not, as it developed the pr …"

Experts: Safety oversight needed as patient records go digital

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

With digital transition approaching for many practices, safety and security issues continue to surface

FDA considers regulating safety of electronic health systems

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Reports of patient harm include six deaths in two years

Shopping for health software, some doctors get buyer’s remorse

By Emma Schwartz

Volatile industry prompts calls for oversight of firms’ financial strength

Switch to electronic health records could miss federal targets

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Cut in stimulus spending suggests early estimates of the cost for the switch were too optimistic

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… f e-health standards and services for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Huffington Post Investigative Fund in an interview.“T …"

Daschle had public and private role in push for digital health records

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Former Sen. Tom Daschle kept Washington's revolving door spinning

Stimulus fuels gold rush for electronic health systems

By Fred Schulte

Competition among companies spawns bus tour, creative sales techniques

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… s that buy or update electronic systems can receive up to $44,000 in bonus Medicare payments per doctor over five years, starting in 2011. They can get the mo …"

"… er they get up and running, the more money they can get. On the flip side, Medicare plans to cut payments to those who fail to get wired up by 2015.“The law …"

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